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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FedScoop Exclusive: HHS to lead 2-year DATA Act pilot

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act is in full swing, with the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department catching headlines in their path to issue a governmentwide set of financial data standards by May 2015. But quietly in the background, the Department of Health and Human Services is gearing up to lead a two-year pilot of the DATA Act to test how data standardization in a complex federal ecosystem works.
Section 5 of the DATA Act — a mandate for financial data transparency in conjunction with USAspending.gov — requires OMB to launch a pilot, and the office chose HHS to test the waters of the act’s massive and complex data standardization efforts. Beginning next May, a year after the act was signed into law, HHS will be the test dummy for the grant portion of the DATA Act to help OMB, the Treasury and the federal government as a whole better understand things like “the impact of data standardization across many different lines of business” and “where there are opportunities to eliminate unnecessary duplication of financial reporting,” Amy Haseltine, director of DATA Act Program Management Office and chief DATA Act officer with HHS, explained to FedScoop.
This two-year pilot of the act is by no means a walk in the park, though all agencies are required by May 2017 to report their financial statements in accordance with the new standards. But Haseltine thinks HHS will benefit greatly from its work. 

-Billy Mitchell, FedScoop.com 
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